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Death toll in Hartland crash rises to three; Two men succumb to injuries in ECMC

The death count from a head-on collision last Sunday afternoon in the Niagara County Town of Hartland rose to three this week as men from Barker and Olcott died of their injuries in Erie County Medical Center.

Norman R. Blumreich, 72, of Barker, the driver whose Ford crossed over the center line on Hartland Road about 4:45 p.m. Sunday and hit another car, died Thursday at ECMC, where he had been hospitalized since the crash in critical condition with arm, leg and internal injuries.

On Wednesday, 44-year-old Olcott resident Robert "Scott" McGirr, who was a passenger in a Buick being driven by his wife, Robin Leah McGirr, 49, died at ECMC.

Mrs. McGirr died shortly after the crash Sunday. She had sustained leg and internal injuries in the crash.

Niagara County sheriff's accident investigators continued to probe the cause of the crash Friday. Deputies reported that Blumreich's vehicle crossed over the center line near 2401 Hartland Road and struck the McGirrs' Buick head-on. Both drivers were taken to ECMC by Mercy Flight.

Robin McGirr was remembered by her pastor, the Rev. Lawrence Bentley of Rapids Bible Church, as a "caring and compassionate" woman who regularly put others ahead of herself.

"When she had the opportunity to help someone, she was right there to do it," Bentley said. "She never had much herself, but she did what she could."

Bentley noted that Robin McGirr had "an outgoing personality" with a deep love for her parents and, although she couldn't have children herself, "certainly loved kids."

"She was a very caring, considerate person," Bentley said.

A memorial service for Robin McGirr will be held at Rapids Bible Church at 11 a.m. June 16 -- on what would have been her 50th birthday.

Robin McGirr was the oldest child of Janice Spedding, who told The Buffalo News Friday evening she followed her daughter's wishes to donate her body to the University at Buffalo School of Medicine to "help others."

"She talked about doing it, but never got to do it," Spedding said. "In her heart, she always helped everybody out. Now, her eyes were donated to somebody. They'll use her tissues and [other organs]."

Spedding said she was told Blumreich apparently suffered a heart attack at the wheel. Sheriff's officials did not confirm that.

"She took care of me. I got cancer and she took me to Roswell. I beat cancer and she kept coming over," said Spedding, a widow of 20 years.

"I'll miss that. But, I know she's not in any pain. She'll have a better life up there than down here."

Besides her mother, Robin McGirr is survived by three brothers, Douglas, Todd and Allen; a sister, Rebecca; a stepson, Fred Baldwin Jr.; and two stepdaughters, Jenny Baldwin and Samantha McGirr.

Blumreich worked as a truck driver at Burnwell Gas in Alden and was a deacon at St. Patrick's Church in Amherst. He enjoyed painting, bicycling and fly fishing.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Sandra.

He is survived by two daughters, Krissa Halter and Janna Fox; and a sister, Patricia Roberts.

A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Rutland-Corwin Funeral Home Inc., 1708 Pallister Ave., Barker.